Default Timer Interval
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Alert messages can be sent immediately or in a daily or weekly summary. Immediate alerts are not actually immediate; they are sent after a delay that is determined by the timer interval. This is done for performance reasons.
The default timer interval is 5 minutes. Thus, if this interval is not changed, you could notice a delay of up to 5 minutes before an alert message is generated. Changes are recorded as they occur in an event log; alert messages are rendered from that log when the next timer job runs.
You can adjust the frequency of alerts by using theWindows SharePoint Services 3.0object model. For an example of using the SPAlert class to iterate through the users of a site and update the alert frequency, see SPAlertFrequency.
You can determine the default timer interval by using the STSADM command line utility. STSADM allows you to run commands from batch files or the Windows command line.
To use STSADM to determine the default timer interval, type the following command:
STSADM -o getproperty -pn job-immediate-alerts -url url
You can set the timer interval property by using STSADM. The following example sets the interval to 3 minutes:
STSADM -o setproperty -pn job-immediate-alerts -url url -pv "every 3 minutes"
For more information about STSADM, see http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/188f006d-aa66-4784-a65b-a31822aa13f71033.mspx.